The Chicken or the Egg?

We are grateful to scientist who are able to teach us so many amazing facts about our wondrous planet and natural world.

Right at the beginning of The Bible we are told all about Creation.

“So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird after its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth. So the evening and the morning were the fifth day. Then God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind; cattle and creeping thing, and beast of the earth each according to its kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, and cattle according to its kind. And God saw that it was good”. Genesis ch 1 v 21-25

Sadly some scientists have dismissed God’s Word and have replaced it with a theory, a story of gradual development over long periods of time. The idea of evolution is the product of human imagination and designed to “do away with God”

Every creature that God created has been endowed with amazing characteristics. Both the educated and uneducated marvel at the perfection of bodily shape, at their ability to survive in their particular environment. The way creatures function, has been perfectly designed to allow the creature to live and reproduce after its own kind.

Reproduction is, in itself amazing! When we consider the numerous and variety of ways that creatures reproduce it is truly amazing. Some creatures lay eggs, some bear live young, some are produced inside a special sac, to mention just a few examples.

Consider the egg of a domestic hen. It is made up of three parts, the outside shell, the yolk and the white which surrounds the yolk. The yolk in the middle is the food for the chick that forms from the white of the egg.

A brooding hen has to gently sit on its eggs to keep warm them. It rises from time to time to roll the eggs over to ensure that the eggs are evenly warmed for the period of incubation. Which is about twenty one days.

When the time comes for the chick to emerge from its shell the hatching process begins. The chick taps the shell using its egg tooth which has developed on the top of its beak to pip (chip or break) the shell, it continues to pip the shell until it has gone all the way around the shell. This process can take between twelve and eighteen hours. When it is ready the chick kicks off the egg shell and flops out wet and tired.

All this has been designed by God, the all wise Creator.

So, which came first, the chicken or the egg? The answer is, of course, the chicken.

Did you know that not all bird eggs are the same shape? There is a distinct difference in shape of the eggs of ground nesting birds from those that nest in hollow trees or on top of trees.

Take for example the Canada Goose its eggs are elongated so that they do not blow away in windy conditions. If they move slightly their pointed end acts as a pivot.

When we consider the information and precision required in these examples of design, special, instantaneous, pre-programmed creation is the only satisfying answer to the amazing phenomena outlined.

What is the alternative? What are the chances that something of such precision could have happened at random? Who created the circumstances? Can we be absolutely certain that it was not created by a power that is infinitely more superior to anyone who has ever lived?

God’s Word, the Bible, tells us that God is the Creator of the universe and everything in it.

In the book of Isaiah we are asked to consider the Creator of heaven and earth, His wisdom and power which can be seen in the wonders of the world around us.

“Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and measured heaven with the span, and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or as His counsellor hath taught him? With whom took He counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding? To whom then will ye liken Me? or to Whom shall I be equal? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and see who hath created these things, Who brings out the host by number: He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing”. Isaiah 40:12-14, 25-26

*Quotes are taken from the New King James Bible


To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk or our Facebook page.

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THE BIBLE SAID IT FIRST

It is truly amazing that the Bible has had so much influence on our day to day conversations. There are at least 75 commonly used phrases that have their origins in the Bible. Be sure to look up the passages below, just a sample of these sayings, in your Bible. In some of them there are powerful lessons for us all.

All these quotations can be found in the King James Version of the Bible.

Did you know that in 1947 a collection of the oldest manuscripts of the books of the Bible were discovered in a cave in Wadi Qumran, near the Dead Sea? Among them was a 23ft leather scroll containing the complete book of the prophet Isaiah. This copy is a unique proof of the reliability of the Holy Scriptures. The text agrees exactly with what we have in our Bible today. Many more books of the Bible were discovered in 11 caves nearby. A special museum, The Shrine of The Book, was opened in Jerusalem to house many of the scrolls.

Let us not neglect the Bible for its pages contain a message from God, a message of hope and salvation for all who read His word, believe it and try to follow the example of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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DRIVEN BY PRESSURE

“No steam or gas drives anything until it is confined. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined” Henry Emerson Fosdick. (an American pastor)

This quote teaches us a valuable lesson that is supported by Scripture. We may not like pressure but we have to admit that pressure focusses us to get things done.

The great apostle and preacher of the Gospel, Paul, was fully focussed on God and yet he writes: “for we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself, indeed we felt that we had received the sentence of death.” (2 Corinthians 1:8)

Later, in the same letter, he says “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed, perplexed but not driven to despair, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed.”(2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

Of Jesus it is recorded: “although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.” (Hebrews 5:8-9)

Surely God is teaching us that life has its troubles and that we should accept the trials, the troubles and the chastening that come to everyone whom he loves. We all agree “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)

While Paul, having been blinded by the light from heaven when Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-18) , wondered what was going to happen to him next , Jesus told Ananias, a disciple, when he was sent to find Paul, “For I will show him (Paul) how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” (Acts 9:16)

Paul did indeed suffer. Later in life he reflected upon the sufferings he endured for the Lord.

“Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one……with far greater labours, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings and often near death.” (2 Corinthians 11:23)

He was beaten with whips and rods, stoned, shipwrecked three times and survived many other dangers. (2 Corinthians 11:24-28)

Paul surrendered his own will to God, just as the Lord Jesus Christ did.

Paul exclaims, “…. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

As followers of God and of Jesus Christ we must try to adopt Paul’s attitude when we confront our personal problems and sufferings, knowing that God knows every pressure and hardship we will face. Rom 5:3 “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings owing that sufferings produces endurance, endurance produces character and character produces nope (Romans 5:3)

We are being prepared for our eternal salvation. For this wonderful hope set before us let us endure the pressures and problems that come our way and look forward to the “crown of righteousness” that is laid up for us if we will put God and Jesus first in our minds and in our actions.

The words of this hymn are a prayer encouraging us to trust in God wherever our path may lead.

Give to the winds thy fears;

Hope and be undismayed;

God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears:

God shall lift up thy head.

Put thou thy trust in God,

In duty’s path go on;

Walk in his strength with faith and hope

So shall thy work be done.

Leave to His sovereign sway

To choose and to command:

With wonder filled, thou then shalt own

How wise, how strong His hand!

Through waves and clouds and storms,

He gently clears thy way;

Wait thou his time, so shall the night

Soon end in joyous day.

(Paulus Gerhardt 1607 -76 tr John Wesley

To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk.

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Forget about ‘New Year, New You’ … God loves you just the way you are!

It’s a little like being Cinderella. The moment the clock strikes midnight everything changes. Except that rather than rags to riches we go from feast to famine, and instead of losing a shoe we lose the will to live.

The minute New Year’s Eve turns to New Year’s Day a peculiar change takes hold of the world as we know it. It throttles us until we bend to its will: NEW YEAR, NEW YOU.

Adverts that preached excess and indulgence at Christmas swiftly change their tune to discipline and determination. Bookshops mutilate their gift and humour displays, leaving in their wake dieting and de-cluttering manuals.

It is like falling victim to cultural whiplash. One minute we are festive, family-orientated and telling ourselves to be merry and bright. The next we are told we are nowhere near thin, pretty or talented enough. In the blink of an eye we have become desperately in need of a total lifestyle overhaul.

We fall for it every year, even though it makes us miserable. It’s another sales tactic. We know it, yet our fingers inch towards the self-help pages as if they have a mind of their own. Surely we realise that we aren’t striving for God’s ideal?

God didn’t create the world to breed jealousy, dissatisfaction and self-hatred. Jesus didn’t rise from the dead to sell something. No! He is GIVING us something. Not something we dare ask for because the gift of everlasting life is too great, and certainly not stocked in the John Lewis catalogue.

He gives us GRACE.

Yes, I find it difficult too. In a world where self improvement is an art form, where people have built their livelihoods on making us feel inadequate, where we are defined by our weight, our Facebook friends, Instagram likes and bank balances, it seems implausible that God loves us just the way we are. All he asks for in return is our commitment of obedience, faith and love.

Everywhere we look in the story of our Saviour this message is repeated.

We do not have to be strong: The apostle Paul wrote, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

We are not made whole by great works or achievements: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

We don’t have to transform: “No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts 15:11)

‘New Year New You’ may be a good tag-line, perhaps an even better sales pitch, but it cannot buy you happiness, hope, or a happily ever after.

Our happily ever after lies not in guilt, or sacrifice, or resolutions, but in the acceptance of grace, to allow our imperfect selves to be loved, just as we are, by our Creator and his Son, who died, that we may live.

Quotes NIV

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The Thanksgiving Spirit

Ok, so we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK but we are all aware that it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November every year in America and Canada. This year it is Thursday November 28.

It’s great that a day is set aside so that people are reminded to count the numerous blessings in their lives.

My question is “Why should this be restricted to just one day!?”

For me, trying to live a Christian lifestyle it’s supposed to be a state of mind. Thanksgiving should be more from the depth of our spirit and not just for a limited time.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the Will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

If we think carefully about this verse it tells us to be thankful in all circumstances as this is the will of God.

How often do we stop and give thanks for all we have in this life?

The Apostle Paul puts forward the challenge. We must maintain an “Attitude of Gratitude.” This can be a real struggle. Life is hard and there are many circumstances where being thankful wouldn’t be our first response. It isn’t natural for us to maintain gratefulness when life gets tough. We can become discontented. We want something different, better or more.

How easy it is to fall into that trap!

“When this happens … then I will be happy!”

“When I get married, get that car, get that job, that home, then I will be happy.”

We can be so busy trying to get more that we have can forget what we do have.

The apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:11, “I learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”

So, let us think on this throughout the whole year and try in all circumstances to remember the many blessings God sends us every day we live and to be content and thankful.

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We will remember

On Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday, the nation remembers the end of the First World War in 1918. We pay tribute to those who have fallen in the service of the United Kingdom and mark this time with a two minute silence. On the 11th November every year many people across the UK will be pausing from their day to day tasks and at 11am will be joined in silence, pausing to remember those who gave their lives for us. The Sunday closest to Remembrance Day is known as Remembrance Sunday where men, women and children all across Britain hold and attend ceremonies to remember the millions who have died fighting in the First World and the subsequent wars our country has fought.

For Christadelphians, every Sunday is Remembrance Sunday. We meet every Sunday morning at 11am in our hall in Ammanford to remember Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, who gave his life for all humankind. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16) Jesus, God’s only Son, lived a sinless life and so became a perfect sacrifice for the sins of those who put their faith and trust in him and in his Father.

Our ‘Breaking of Bread’ (Communion Service) allows us to meet together and share the bread and the wine in remembrance of the life, death and resurrection of our the Lord Jesus Christ. The baptised members of our church group pray and sing hymns together. We listen to an exhortation and break bread and drink wine to remember Christ and give thanks for him and for his sacrifice as Jesus commanded his disciples. “Now, as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’” (Matthew 26:26-29)

Those who attend, but have not shown their commitment to God and Jesus by following the commandment to be baptised, are also present, but do not take the emblems of bread and wine. This is because the believers in Christ in apostolic times were commanded to be “baptised” by total immersion in water. So as they were “buried with Christ in baptism” (Colossians 2:12); they died in symbol with him upon the cross, and as he rose from the dead to immortal life, so they rose from the waters of baptism to “newness of life”. This remains the requirement for sincere believers today. “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ.”( Galatians 3:26-27) Those who choose to obey God’s command He, by His grace and mercy, is prepared to accept them and forgives their sins, They are brought into fellowship with Him. So, from being alienated from God by sin, sincere believers become sons and daughters of God by their obedience and faith. They are made heirs of eternal life according to God’s promise. For even if death should overtake them, they die in the certain hope of resurrection from the grave in the day when Christ comes again. So will be fulfilled the best-known verse in the New Testament: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

We know from the Scriptures that the present age of man’s dominion is coming to an end. While there is still time, we invite all to examine, or re-examine, the true teachings of the Bible. God is still calling out a people for His Kingdom. Your eternal future depends on your response!

Visitors are most welcome at all our services, so please come along and find out more about what we believe and how you can share our hope too!

Quotes ESV

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Has God forgotten me?

Have we ever felt as if God may have forgotten us? It often happens when we go through a time of trouble that seems to lengthen the longer we put up with it. At those times it seems as if prayers are no longer answered, and positive spiritual thoughts seem to evaporate before they have even been spoken.

When God afflicted his people Israel, they thought he had forgotten them. God reassured them with these words (Isaiah 49: 14-16) “But Zion said, ‘The LORD has forsaken me, the LORD has forgotten me.’ Can a mother forget the her nursing child that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you! Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands …” God will never forget his people Israel, and nor will he forget us.

The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews encouraged the believers “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He (God) has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)

Take the example of parents of an adopted child who has gone off the rails. Though he is not their flesh and blood, they still think of him, pray for him, visit him in prison and talk about him. As part of their family, they will never forget him. How much more is that with God?

Those who have been baptised into the saving name of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who try to follow God’s Law, even though they fail at times, are God’s sons and daughters by adoption. (Galatians 3:26-29) “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. For as many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ … And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.”

We can never fail to be reminded of important things by marks we see every day on our hands. As children of God, He does not need to be reminded of us. We are written, like the children of Israel, on His hands. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us however hard our lives may be at times.


To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk.

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Brexit – To Be or Not To Be …

Winston Churchill observed in 1947: ” No-one pretends that democracy is perfect, or all wise, Indeed it has been said that it is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

Do you watch the News? Just lately our news has been dominated and almost taken over by Brexit and by the passion shown by our democratic Parliamentarians for and against the proposed exit from the European Union. Such events are almost unheard of in Westminster.

Many people are perplexed, frustrated and worried as they try to follow the complicated and seemingly endless turns of events. How will it be resolved? Will it never end?

Do those who have faith in God and in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, need to worry? The Bible, God’s handbook for the faithful believers, explains clearly what the Almighty and All Powerful God has in store for the world He created. It tells us that He is in control and that, however changeful, difficult and stressful our lives may become the present rulers of our world will be swept aside.

The Bible tells us plainly that God’s Government is coming to this planet, God centred, guided and ruled over by Jesus Christ and his saints.

The prophet Daniel writes: “And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).

If we go on we are told: “He [Jesus] shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72:8) “… and his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:10)

Jesus told his followers: “The one who conquers, and who keeps my works to the end, to him I will give authority over the nations”. (Revelation 2:26)

This world will be ruled by Jesus Christ, the Saviour and his faithful followers who have, in spite of all the difficulties of life, really done their best to serve God. This Kingdom of God will have a righteous ruler whose concern is for all people.(Psalm 72:12-14)For he (Jesus) delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence he redeems their life and precious is their blood in his sight.

There will be fertile lands, once desert and food for all. Please read Isaiah 35 a wonderful prophecy of the Kingdom of God on earth.

The nations will want to serve God (Micah4:1-2) It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains and it shall be lifted above the hills and peoples shall flow to it and many nations shall come and say: Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD….that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.

War will be abolished (Isaiah 2:4).He (Jesus)shall judge between the nations and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation neither shall they learn war any more

Jesus said: “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.

This wonderful Kingdom will come soon! God and Jesus will rule the World.

Even so come Lord Jesus!

*Quotes ESV & NIV

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Have we got the message?

About 3 weeks ago our television stopped working. This sign came up on the screen NO SIGNAL. I checked all the connections and even brought out two other televisions to try as well! Again, NO SIGNAL x 2. Was I getting the message at last? NO SIGNAL meant something other than that there was a fault with three televisions. My friend told me that his television also had this NO SIGNAL message and that he was able to retune his set. Everything was now working properly. I tried this but, sadly, I couldn’t access the screen directions.

As I went to take our car for its MOT I noticed a television company van parked at the roadside. I stopped and asked the driver about our problem. He was really helpful and suggested that it might be because the TV tower had recently had changes to its frequency. A new aerial might be the only answer. He opened the rear door of the van to show me a dozen or so new types of aerial he was now having to fit. I felt that I had found the truth of the matter. This man had clearly explained what I must do. He was an expert!

If we want to know the truth about God and His Son Jesus, we have to open our Bibles to read what they tell us about what is promised for us in the Word of God. God promises resurrection from the grave to live forever when Jesus returns to live on this earth to set up his Father’s Kingdom.

God’s message gives us hope. He is the expert. He is in control. Open your Bible (rather like the van doors) and you will find the “truth of the matter” within its pages.

As soon my helpful nephew retuned our television normal service resumed. We can switch it on to watch a programme at any time of day.

Of course we can all open our Bible at any time of day to access God’s message to us all. God doesn’t want any of us to perish. Our minds need to be tuned to His message. We need to be on God’s frequency to understand how we should live our lives by God’s laws.

John 3: 16-17 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

Jesus said “Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” Matthew 11:28-30.

Quotes ESV

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Spiders and the Bible

Whatever have spiders got to do with a blog about the Bible? Well, in the Book of Proverbs we are directed to study some of the smaller creatures. Proverbs 6:6 “Go to the ant O sluggard; consider her ways and be wise” So let’s look at the jumping spider! A study carried out by Harvard University reveals the amazing ingenuity of the jumping spider, Myrmarachne formicaria. Whenever a potential adversary looms into view they impersonate something their predator would avoid.

This involves mimicking an ant, because ants have venomous stings, produce unpleasant chemicals and are generally aggressive.

How is a tall, stocky, eight legged spider with three segments able to mimic a thin, six-legged ant with two body segments?

For starters, the spider lifts up two of its legs above its head to give the impression of antennae. It mimics the ant’s winding gait. Finally, it adopts the ant’s habit of frequently stopping for incredibly short periods of a 10th to a 100th of a second. Amazing!

Are we seeing here the completion of evolution, a development over millions of years? Remember, every act of mimicking must work at the same time. Or are we seeing the work of God the Almighty Creator? Jesus Christ believed in creation. Mark 10:6 “ But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female” See also Matthew 19:4 “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female …” Mark 13:19 “For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now …”

Quotes from the ESV.


Join us this coming Sunday at 6pm for a special Bible-based presentation on A Bugs Life – presented by the curator of entomology at the National Museum of Wales Cardiff (he will even bring along some of his collection for you to see)! More details can be found here.

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